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Tulsa agencies prepare ahead of winter weather

winter storm .jpg
Posted at 9:16 PM, Jan 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-01 07:22:35-05

TULSA, Okla. — Tulsa Area Emergency Management said now is the time to start preparing ahead of this week's winter weather.

The agency said to get your groceries now so when it comes time for winter conditions, you can stay home.

If you are staying home it’s important to heat your house safely and avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Keep generators outside. Make sure your space heater is meant for indoors and is in a safe place with nothing around it.

“Do not just put yourself and your family at risk by turning on your gas stove and trying to heat your house with it," said Joe Kralicek, director of Tulsa Area Emergency Management.

Kralicek said TAEMA learned some things from last February’s winter storm. Many agencies were scrambling to get those with no shelter off the streets and inside. This year they’ll have even more help.

“We’re utilizing our fire department and police department drone teams to assist with our homeless outreach to help speed up that process so that we can get more of those individuals who might be in the unhoused population indoors and out of harm's way during inclement weather such as this," Kralicek said.

Tulsa firefighters are also getting ready. They’re tested out chains on their truck tires on Monday, which are necessary when the roads are covered in snow and ice. Especially due to the weight of their vehicles.

“This is an 80-ton truck," said Tulsa Firefighter Ryan Stephens. “If the road is slippery at all, if there’s ice or anything, we’re going to need that for these to be able to actually grip into the road. Because if it doesn’t grip in then if we try to stop at a stoplight or on a hill, it’s just going to slide and that’s a bad day for everybody.”

TAEMA said if you do have to go out, make sure you have plenty of gas, your phone is charged and have some extra warm clothes, blankets and food in the car in case you get stuck. Ultimately, they suggest staying in. Especially as emergency resources are stretched thin.

“We always see a large number of slip and fall calls, especially to our hospitals and our ambulance services," Kralicek said. "With the ongoing pandemic, our hospital systems are already stretched. So if you have a slip and fall call, you could expect extra time at the hospital. And you’re also taking up and utilizing those scarce resources.”

If you do go out in the bad weather, Kralicek suggests telling someone where you’re going, so they know to check on you in case you get stranded or something goes wrong.

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